Alternatives to Hiring Full-time Employees for Small Businesses

in Business

When it comes to running a small business, money is usually one of the biggest limiting factors that makes it hard for you to truly expand. With countless expenses to keep in mind, it’s easy to lose track of what you’re actually spending money on and how you can optimize your business expenses.

One of the biggest costs of running your business is paying your employees a salary. If you don’t make enough money then you can’t pay your team–it’s as simple as that. This not only reduces the size of your team but can actually limit the number of hiring options you have. Higher salaries will entice more experienced people, so it’s natural that you’d want to offer a more enticing contract to create a more productive team.

Sadly, not all small businesses can afford to hire experienced employees and there will come a point where it’s important to look at alternatives. In this post, we’re going to take a look at some of the most common workarounds to hiring full-time staff.

Outsource if it’s cheaper or for a specific task

Outsourcing is one of the most common alternatives to hiring full-time employees and an absolute must if you’re a growing business. Outsourcing allows you to get specific tasks done really quickly and it’s much cheaper than hiring a full-time employee. It gives you access to professional services and entire teams of professionals, but there are a couple of caveats.

For example, outsourcing tends to be cheaper for one-off jobs or highly specific services. However, when it starts to get more technical, you’ll probably want to hire a full-time employee because it’s just a little more efficient. This is especially important if you consider it valuable to nurture new talent and build a team that has no problem collaborating together. If you outsource too much, then there’s a good chance that people might have a hard time working with those outsourced employees. Building strong teamwork skills is important for the growth of your business, so this is definitely something to consider.

But for everything else, outsourcing is usually the best alternative to hiring full-time employees. Whether you’re looking for phone answering services for small business, brand design specialists or even an IT professional, it’s extremely easy to outsource certain jobs in your business and save money in the process. However, like with any hiring process, it’s important that you consider their skills and experience. A great way to check this is to simply look at their portfolio. If the work they’ve produced in the past is similar to what you’re looking for, then it’s safe to assume they’re a good choice to hire.

Hiring remote employees

One of the cheaper options for hiring full-time employees is to actually hire remotely. This is great for a number of reasons:

  • It’s often cheaper to hire remote employees because you don’t need to consider benefits, you don’t have to set up a workstation for them, and you won’t need to reimburse any travel costs.
  • You get access to a massive pool of talent because they can work from almost anywhere. Not being limited in your hiring location is a fantastic way to search for talented employees that aren’t asking for a massive salary.
  • Your employees can work around the clock. This is great if you need your workflow to persist 24/7, such as an international business that serves customers from around the world.

Hiring remotely does come with some risks that are important to consider. For instance, you do need to perform some kind of background or social media check to ensure that they’re the right person for the job. You might also want to consider how you’re going to interview them. Some people would prefer an interview over a call, but others would like a video feed to see what the person is like a get a sense of their personality, even if they’re unlikely to see them in-person.

People using computers

Hiring volunteers for small jobs

Depending on the type of business you run, you may be able to convince people to work as volunteers. In return, they can get some kind of benefits or a small reward, but not necessarily cash. A great situation where volunteers could help is at an event. Whether it’s for charity or a niche hobby, events are a great place to hire volunteers. They can take part in the event itself and also help out with small jobs such as running errands or assisting people around.

In return, you can offer event-oriented bonuses such as exclusive access to special events, helping in VIP areas, or even tickets for friends and family members to attend the event. This ultimately does cost you money, but it’s often much easier to swallow those costs. You may also be asked to act as a reference in the future if the volunteer uses it as job experience. This is a simple request from them and one you should definitely honour.

Consider hiring part-time employees

Part-time work is perfectly fine for many people, especially if it’s something seasonal such as product research for the next big business period or extra hires for a summer sales rush. Hiring part-time is generally a good idea if you don’t need employees for a long period of time each day, but do need a consistent team of people to work in your store or office. You can actually combine part-time employees with remote employees too. This creates a very low-cost way to get specific kinds of jobs done and is perfect for all types of companies.

Hopefully, this article has given you an idea of the alternatives to hiring full-time employees. Each of these come with unique benefits, so it’s important to consider which one is best suited for your current circumstances. However, you should also think about when a good time to upgrade would be because you’ll eventually want to hire full-time employees to work in your company.


Image Credits: Arlington Research, Arlington Research

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